The following is a list of tips for buying and insuring a used car:
- Confirm the year of the vehicle - date of first registration. Confirm also how long the seller has owned the car. There would be no concerns if it's a number of years - if it's a couple of weeks, you may want to ask why. Either they're trying to get rid of the car quickly for some reason, or they may be be an unregistered dealer posing as a private seller.
- Confirm that the car is the sellers to sell. If selling on behalf of someone else, speak to that person. Ensure the car isn't on hire purchase or lease - if it is, it isn't the sellers to sell. If necessary, ask for proof of identity as well as relevant documentation.
- Has the car been crashed? A garage should tell you if a car has been crashed, though an individual may not, or be hazy regarding details or seriousness. You should check for telltale signs such as ripples in the bodywork, paint blobs from respraying or slightly different colour body panels. This shouldn't necessarily stop you purchasing the car, as long are you are aware of the full circumstances. Possibly have the car checked out by a professional to confirm.
- Is the car a foreign import? This again is not necessarily a reason not to purchase the car. However, you should confirm that all liabilities such as VRT and VAT have been paid upon importation to Ireland. Any outstanding liabilities could fall to you as the future owner. Ensure that the car has no "quirks" that may be explained away because it is an import - such "quirks" may not comply with Irish legislation and be liable to prosecution.
- View the car at the sellers residence - Do not buy from a car park, a petrol station area or general public area (even if the seller says it's for convenience) as it will be harder, if not impossible, to contact the vendor if a problem arises. Be wary of dealing with someone who is willing only to contacted through a mobile number.